Augustus Saint-Gaudens (1848 – 1907) Irish American sculptor

Augustus Saint-Gaudens
Augustus Saint-Gaudens

Augustus Saint-Gaudens (1848 – 1907) was a sculptor who was born in Dublin, Ireland.


He attended the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art in New York and the National Academy of Design. He began his studies at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris in 1867.


His family relocated to the United States. He was one of the first Americans to go to Paris instead of Rome or Florence to study. He moved to Rome in 1870, where he was significantly inspired by early Renaissance sculpture. He returned to New York in 1875 and founded his studio. He carved cameos and copied antique busts as an apprentice. The medallions on the 1875 William Cullen Bryant Vase, modelled by Tiffany’s James Horton Whitehouse, were among his decorative work on silver display items.

In 1877, he entered the Tile Club. In 1878, he formed the Society of American Artists with John La Farge, Olin Levy Warner, Helena de Kay, Will H. Low, and others, presumably in reaction to the National Academy of Design’s rejection of one of his sculptures for an annual exhibition. Saint-Gaudens’ work in partnership with La Farge was representative of the Aesthetic movement and highly regarded, including the interior decoration of St. Thomas Church and the 1880 Cornelius Vanderbilt residence in New York, both designed by George B. Post. La Farge, as well as architects Stanford White and Charles Follen McKim, inspired Saint- Gaudens. He began his distinguished career as a sculptor by designing the Farragut Memorial in Madison Square Park in New York in 1881. The 1884–87 standing and 1897–1906 sitting versions of Abraham Lincoln in Chicago, the 1890–91 John Adams Memorial in Washington, the 1897 Memorial to Robert Gould Shaw in Boston, and the 1903 statue of General Sherman on the Plaza on the Park in New York were among the other monumental statues.


Byars, M., & Riley, T. (2004). The Design Encyclopedia. Laurence King Publishing.

Additional Reading

Dryfhout, J. H., & Duffy, H. J. (2003). Augustus Saint-Gaudens: American sculptor of the gilded age. Retrieved from

Dryfhout, J. H., & Saint-Gaudens, A. (1982). The work of Augustus Saint-Gaudens. University Press of New England. Retrieved from

Reichenbach Cécile, & Saint-Gaudens, A. (1999). Augustus Saint-Gaudens, 1848-1907: A master of american sculpture. Musée des Augustins. Retrieved from

Wilkinson, B. (1985). Uncommon clay: The life and works of Augustus Saint Gaudens. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. Retrieved from

Wilkinson, B. (2006). The life and works of Augustus Saint Gaudens. Eastern National. Retrieved from

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